Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'd Buy Anything By...Butthole Surfers

They were my guilty young-adult pleasure, a mixture of virtuosity, insanity, incompetence, and drugs. I remember many a night spent with like-minded friends, laughing hysterically to "Kuntz" and gazing at that baby on the back of "Locust Abortion Technician." I almost got into a car accident while listening to "Lonesome Bulldog," and I once punished a hung-over acquaintance by playing "Jimi" while driving him home.

The Butthole Surfers were my party soundtrack, my "altered state" soundtrack, and my late-night drive soundtrack. They scared me with "Cherub" and amazed me with "John E. Smoke." I just couldn't believe that human beings could behave the way they did...and I'm still baffled. I can't listen to them without wondering "why?" and then, seconds later, "how?"

I can't say I'm as in love with them now as I was then -- we've all gotten older, of course -- but they still make me happy, and I'll still pick up their music unconditionally.

And now their cover of "Hurdy Gurdy Man." When I watch this I imagine that the entire band smelled, and not just because they shared a stage with "Ta-da the Sh*t Lady."



Albums to buy? That's a hard one, but I'd single out "Hairway to Steven" as instantly accessible though still very much "Buttholes." Albums to avoid? "Electriclarryland," which sounds a bit tired and desperate. For fans only? Anything live.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

While reading your posts, I noticed you're missing one important band of the late 80's and early 90's- Skinny Puppy.

Who opened up for them at the Masonic Temple in Toronto? I've long since forgotten.

Lynda

Muffy St. Bernard said...

I am doing these alphabetically, so I'm a long way from the S's!

Even so, though, I have to regretfully leave Skinny Puppy off the "I'd Buy Anything" list. I certainly USED TO buy everything by them, and they were a HUGE part of my young adult musical years, but I've fallen out of love and haven't bothered to pick up anything recent. And actually I don't much enjoy listening to them anymore, maybe I've mellowed a bit?

But they're still in my heart!

The band that opened for them at the Masonic Temple had a name that included the word "hog" or "pig," didn't it? They were from Vancouver and were also produced by David Ogilvie, I think. It'll come back to me eventually!

And your last name wouldn't start with a "W," would it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I suppose 'used to buy anything' would be a more appropriate phrase.

I couldn't remember the name of the band and it's haunted me for a few months now... but I think it was related to or included the word 'hogs'. They were a little too Gwar-ish for my tastes.

And many moons ago it was a 'W'! I had a bit of time on my hands yesterday and I've been thinking of you lately... I read of your adventures in the paper and so I thought I'd search around the net a bit.

We'll have to catch-up!

Muffy St. Bernard said...

How can we catch up? Do you get into Kitchener/Waterloo occasionally? If you send me an email we can figure out what's what.

Oh, and the name came to me late last night: TANK HOG. And geez they were bad!